From The Bush

So happy to be back here after an absence of 5 weeks. Christmas and a Heat wave intervened.

It’s March Fly time now(Tabanus frogatti).

These are large, about 1cm long, blood sucking insects that come out in the Mountains for a few weeks in Summer. They are called March flies because they usually come out in March in high country. Here we are a bit lower and they come out earlier. I think they are also earlier as the weather warms with Climate change.

They don’t carry any diseases, but have a painful bite, and are adept at finding any weak spot – like the lace eyelets of your shoes.

More pleasant creatures her were a Kangaroo and her Joey, and some very young deer. It’s unusual to see deer out in the middle of the day.

This afternoon it has cooled a bit and there are lots of dragonflies dancing outside in the sunlight. Their shimmery wings catching the light as they hover and dart. Perhaps they have recently hatched.

I’m waiting until the cool of the evening to feed the horses, hopeing that the flies will have finished their blood search for the day. The horses spend much of their day under a shady tree out of the heat. The Llama is spending his day sitting in the long grass so the flies don’t get access to his bare legs and tummy.

There are lots of small birds calling. They call all day here, possibly still feeding the new year’s chicks.

It’s a joy to hear them and to get the occasional glimpse of an adult feeding a chick.

As evening approached there was a loud and long chorus of frogs. Then on the second night only a few tentative croaks. Some environmental trigger no doubt.

This morning dawned fine and clear with a trace of mist over the swamp. So out for a walk before the heat sets in.

There was dew on the grass and hundreds of tiny spider webs were sparkling in the early light. All low down in the grass, and attached to grass stems and other leaves. The architects of these gleaming wonders were tiny spiders, about the size of the comma on my keyboard. How much work must they put into creating a new web each night. And how small their prey must be.

Up along the creek, while preoccupied with irrelevant thoughts I startled 3 stags, all with the beginnings of antlers. (The rut is in April here). If I had been paying attention to my surroundings I might have seen them before they saw me. That’s the important thing in photographing wildlife. Being mentally, as well as physically quiet.

The heat is building now, probably another heatwave on the way.

Until next timeā€¦

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